Europe and Its “Others”: Visualizing Lexical Relations Between Western and Non-Western Locations of the Enlightenment in The Eighteenth-Century Collections Online

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter will investigate how the names of continents interacted across three historical periods of the Eighteenth-Century Collections Online corpus. Using a custom-designed measure of word co-association, it will make visible the associations between geographical designators in the early, middle and late century. Semantic network diagrams will visualise the often-surprising ways in which global place names and adjectives kept company within sentences in the historical corpus.
Because this study takes as its field of enquiry the whole of ECCO, what is being made visible is how knowledge about ‘Asia’, ‘Africa’, ‘America’ and ‘Europe’ among other domains, was structured in a common, non-individual sense. That is, the chapter will demonstrate how these place names associated in the vast, impersonal, aggregated repository of the historical corpus. ECCO is constituted of many thousands of written voices and no single voice can predominate. This chapter therefore will reconstruct the most-common ways in which the printed anglophone century understood relations between ‘Europe’ and its others.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationData Visualization in Enlightenment Literature and Culture
EditorsIleana Baird
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-54912-1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2021


  • Enlightenment
  • digital media
  • Distant Reading
  • distributional concept analysis
  • other
  • European
  • 18th century
  • Semantics

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